Exhibitions Projects

New Designers

Wonderful participation of ECA Product Design students at New Designers in London. Leaving with three commendations from the jury, to Alvin Chan, Leon Brown and Meghan Foley.

Activities Projects

Week One with Super Power Agency and Civic Soup

For a full and intensive week, Product Design and Design Informatics students will be working together with Super Power Agency and Civic Soup to design interventions for the Super Power Bus.

The Super Power Agency is a new and exciting charity founded by The Invisible Woman and some like-minded superheroes to help some of Edinburgh’s most deprived children close the all-important attainment gap in education. The Super Power bus functions as a fun mobile classroom for these children, where learning is part of a playful experience, an exciting opportunity for design.

Project Launch: Monday, 15th Jan, 12.30pm in the West Court Theatre, Main Building ECA. Participation in the project is core for 1st, 2nd and 3rd year Product Design students, optional for 4th years.

Final Presentation: Friday, 19th Jan, 12pm Product Design Studio R16 at ECA Hunter Building.


Schedule for this project

15th Jan 16th Jan 17th Jan 18th Jan 19th Jan
12.30pm Kick off 10am Visit to Leith Academy and Super Power bus 10am Feedback Civic Soup 10am Feedback Dave Murray-Rust 12pm Final Presentations Product Design Studios: R5, R7 and R16
1pm Feedback Super Power Agency in the Studios 1pm Feedback Isla Munro 1pm Feedback Sam


Electives in Product Design

Product Design has now fully migrated to the new curriculum and we are welcoming students from all areas at the University of Edinburgh.

We would like to let everyone know about the 3 exciting (Level 7 and 8) electives that we have available this year:

Design From Data (Sem 1 – Tuesdays PM), Electronic Things (Sem 1 – Thursdays PM), and Re-Value (Sem 2 – Tuesdays PM)

Design From Data

This course offers an introduction to qualitative and quantitative methods for gathering data, information and knowledge from participants in design projects. Through a series of lectures and practical exercises students will be introduced to the importance of user-led research and the role of empirical data to inform the design process. The course focuses on the initial phases of a design cycle: discover and define. The first part of the course will explore how data can be derived from users within specific settings, introducing approaches such as cultural probes, user observations, interviews, and questionnaires. The second part of the course will focus on how data is used to define audiences, identify problems and understand challenges before development phases begin. Students will engage in field studies using the various methods, before analysing the data in order to design briefs. The course will also introduce ethical issues involved in working with people.


Electronic Things

The course provides an understanding of how designers are increasingly required to work with electronics and microprocessors in order to create products which are responsive and agentitialal around their human counterparts. Through an introduction to hardware and software platforms, students will be supported in the designing of digital artefacts. Digital artefacts are capable of sensing the world around them, interpreting and re-presenting the data to the people with whom they co-exist. Creation of these artefacts combines the social science goal of collecting information about the use and the users of the technology in a real-world setting, the engineering goal of field-testing the technology, and the design goal of inspiring users and designers to think of new kinds of technology to support their needs. A combination of a series of lectures that reflect upon current creative electronic practice, and workshops that provide technical and creative will support students to develop their own electronic artifacts for deployment in settings informed through their own interests.



Through a series of lectures that explore the concept of value and worth in different contexts and markets, students will gain an understanding of the historical models of value and how the digital economy is changing the way we buy and use products and services. The course will reflect on design’s place with established models of value chains and consider the implications for the discipline in value constellations. Students will be encouraged to consider what they value in the world around them, the artefacts and the way we use them, in order to understand how value is created.

Through a series of social contexts that present an increasing complexity away from convergent to divergent models of value, students will respond through practice to becer understand how value can be produced and sustained.


Daisy Ginsberg

Daisy Ginsberg, Royal College of Art
Monday, 5th June, 3.30-5.00pm
1.06 Old Surgeons’ Hall
Designers often advocate that design makes things better. In promising a better future, they are not alone: engineers, marketers, politicians and scientists also invoke the imaginary of better, creating dreams that have very material effects. In some of these visions, “better” will be delivered by science and technology; in others, the consumption of designed things will better us or the world. “Better” itself has become a sociotechnical imaginary; progress, without the philosophical baggage. But better is not a universal good or a verified measure: better is imbued with politics and values. And better will not be delivered equally, if at all. “What is better?” and “Who gets to decide?” are questions with great implications for the way we live and hope to live. This seminar explores how critical design can be used to address these questions, while considering critical design’s complicated relationship to bettering, as a critical yet optimistic practice. Drawing on my experiences working amongst the architects of synthetic biology’s powerful dreams of better, I consider how critical design can question better, opening up the possibility of alternative dreams.

Further details:

This event is part of Science, Technology and Innovation Studies Seminar Series


Field Trip 2017: Berlin

Here is the programme  (Feb 21-25)

Tue 21:
Visit to Berlin Wall Memorial
Derive exercise

Wed 22:
am: Urban Complexity Lab and FHP
pm: HPI HCI Lab: Here is some of their work, including the muscle plotter
Evening suggestion:
Meetup Data Visualisation 

Thu 23:
pm: IxDS and Design Research Lab
Evening suggestions:
Gamestorm Berlin gig: Battle of the Bands
Making & Make Believe ASK SOMETHING Exhibition
Spectrum Berlin gig

Fri 24:
am: Bauhaus Archive
pm: Transmediale

Sat 25:
Day Off and Returns


Microorganisms now in

I dropped our rock star microorganisms at ASCUS today. Our introductory workshop will take place on the 12th October and the open sessions at ASCUS take place  every week on Wed 4pm – 10pm and Sat 10am – 4pm.